Prep: 5 Minutes / Activity Time: 10-15 Minutes

Let your preschooler have fun identifying and naming objects with this Picture Toss game that will get him moving and laughing. It’s an engaging way to help build your child’s vocabulary.

  • variety of pictures cut out of magazines (both familiar and novel items)
  • paper (8.5 x 11 paper works well; you might even cut them in half)
  • scissors
  • glue
  • painter’s tape
  • tall waste basket

Step 1: Look through magazines with your child and let him pick out pictures to cut out.

Step 2: Talk about and describe the pictures as he cuts them out.

Step 3: Ask your child to glue the pictures onto the paper, one picture per sheet of paper.

Step 4: Place a tall waste basket on the floor and put a piece of painter’s tape on the floor about 3-4 feet from it. The taped line will be used as a marker for your child to stand behind during the game.    

Step 5: Scatter the pictures on the floor and ask your child to pick one up and tell you about it*.

Step 6: Let him crumple the paper into a ball, stand behind the taped line and toss it into the waste basket.

Step 7: Continue with the other pictures. You might even alternate taking turns with him.

*With some three year olds, the descriptions of the pictures may be only two to three words and might even be out of syntactical order. Parents can model an expanded description. For example:

  • Picture: A lady driving a car
  • Child: Mommy go store.
  • Parent: That’s right! Mommy goes to the store in her car.

Model using descriptive language for your child. Talk about each picture and give him additional information and details. Ask him questions about the pictures to encourage more conversation.

Ask your child higher level questions about some of the pictures. For example, you might ask what an object is used for or where your child might find it.